Remembering historic photos of the dark side of the moon (taken 53 years ago), we can find God by considering our own dark side.
In October 1959, the Russian unmanned spacecraft Luna 3 photographed the dark side of the moon for the first time.
After passing the moon, Luna 3 turned back and took twenty-nine photographs of the far side of the moon. The pictures were taken over a forty-minute span, developed onboard the craft, and relayed back to Earth on October 18.
Though it returned rather poor pictures by later standards, the historic, never-before-seen views of the far side of the Moon caused excitement and interest when they were published around the world. A tentative Atlas of the Far Side of the Moon was created after image processing improved the pictures.
The photographs covered 70 percent of the moon’s far side. Despite the low resolution, many features were recognizable. The pictures provided the first view of this part of the moon’s surface.
The dark side of the moon can never be viewed from Earth, because the moon revolves and rotates in such a way that the same part is always facing Earth.
If we’re honest, we have to admit that all of us have a dark side, too. Some people believe that we are born inherently good and then learn evil. However, the Bible gives us a picture of the dark side of human nature.
In the days of Noah, God saw that people’s thoughts were “consistently and totally evil. . . . It broke his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). After the Flood, God said the human race is “bent toward evil from childhood” (Genesis 8:21). No matter how hard we try to be good, we are born with a heart inclined toward evil.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT )
The condition of the human heart is the bad news. God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love is the good news. But we can’t appreciate God’s awesome goodness until we face our own badness. And we can’t be found until we admit we are lost.
Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey broke God’s heart; we have also disobeyed and broken God’s heart. God’s response was to die for us. Even after we find God and accept His forgiveness, we still struggle with our old sinful nature. We need God’s truth to shine on our dark side and show us where we need forgiveness and help.
The sight of our dark side may not be pretty, but we need to take a good look at it from time to time.
What part of your dark side does God want you to honestly examine and deal with?
For a more modern take on the dark side of the moon, watch this one-minute video of imagery taken on Jan. 19 by the MoonKAM aboard the “Ebb” spacecraft, part of NASA’s GRAIL mission:
© Dianne Neal Matthews (www.DianneNealMatthews.com). Dianne is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books. This article is adapted from her book, The One Year on This Day (Tyndale House 2005).